Introducing “The Daily”

From the press release:

New York, NY, February 2, 2011 – Today Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of News Corporation, unveiled The Daily — the industry’s first national daily news publication created from the ground up for iPad.  
 
“New times demand new journalism,” said Mr. Murdoch. “So we built The Daily completely from scratch — on the most innovative device to come about in my time — the iPad.”
 
“The magic of great newspapers — and great blogs — lies in their serendipity and surprise, and the touch of a good editor,” continued Mr. Murdoch. “We’re going to bring that magic to The Daily — to inform people, to make them think, to help them engage in the great issues of the day. And as we continue to improve and evolve, we are going to use the best in new technology to push the boundaries of reporting.”
 
The Daily’s unique mix of text, photography, audio, video, information graphics, touch interactivity and real-time data and social feeds provides its editors with the ability to decide not only which stories are most important — but also the best format to deliver these stories to their readers.

You can download The Daily from the App Store via this link. It’s free. But not completely (and of course you have to have an iPad— there is no version for the iPhone). When you subscribe to The Daily they send you a new edition every day, and it costs you roughly 14 cents per day (exactly 99 cents per week). If you pay for a year up front it’s $39.99 for the year, or roughly 11 cents per day, or $3.33 per month. Compare that to what it costs to subscribe to a newspaper on a Kindle:

• New York Times, $19.99 per month
• The Wall Street Journal, $14.99 per month
• The Los Angeles Times, $9.99 per month
• The Austin American-Statesman, $5.99 per month
• The Boston Globe, $14.99 per month
• Chicago Tribune, $9.99 per month
• The Denver Post, $5.99 per month
• The Houston Chronicle, $5.99 per month

There are some advantages to the Kindle offerings (for starters, you can read them on a Kindle, and that’s a GREAT way to read stuff), but they’re not in color (The Daily is), they’re not loaded with movies and sounds and interactive elements (The Daily is), and they’re not designed to be read on an iPad (The Daily is). Of course, there’s that little matter of “content” and it will be interesting to see whether The Daily turns out to be as polarizing as Murdoch’s Fox News Channel (note to Mr. Murdoch: please, no).

They’re offering a 14-day trial so if you have an iPad you may as well check it out. The Daily includes daily crossword and sudoku puzzles, by the way, and though I haven’t tried it out I am guessing that doing them on the iPad will be a neat experience (literally).

Whether The Daily turns out to be great journalism or not, it’s a step in the modern direction as far as presentation and delivery, and while you can’t wrap a fish in it I think the modern way is going to win. I am guessing that a LOT of people in the “real” newspaper business will be watching The Daily very closely– and if it’s a success you can bet that we’ll see a bunch of publications putting themselves onto the iPad too. I’m thinking that “newspaper delivery boy” may not be a really good career choice in the not-too-distant future.

UPDATE:The Daily is out of business (December 2012).


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